Patricia Hellier - 28 August 2018
Trish Hellier addressed council regarding a meeiting procedueres at the Ordinary Council Meeting 28 August 2018.
Good Morning Mayor, Councillors, General Manager, Staff, Gallery. Trish Hellier North Batemans Bay
At a Council Meeting that I attended on Tuesday 22nd May 2018 an incident occurred when a attendee was asked to leave the meeting and refused to do so, this resulted in the Council Meeting being adjourned to the committee room whilst the media was allowed access to the committee room I and other attendees were denied access, despite my attempts to do so I was denied as I firmly believed to take this action on those not involved was incorrect.
The attendees were left sitting in the gallery and eventually we convinced this person to leave the gallery, I then knocked on the Committee Room door and a staff person eventually canvassed the gallery and foyer and then re entered the Committee Room.
After a period of time staff person Mr Jeff Phillips indicated to me that I could enter the Committee room and kindly gave me a chair, I know sooner sat down and the meeting was then adjourned to back to the Gallery.
Prior to the incident at this meeting Mr Peter Bernard had asked a number of questions in relation to finance issues and the Mayor had given Mr Bernard her assurance that his question would be answered when the item was addressed on the Agenda, I was very interested to hear what Councils response would be.
Due to the fact that the Financial Item must have been addressed in the Committee Room which was not Live Streamed I have no idea if Mr Bernard's question was answered.
After the meeting I contacted the OLG in relation to myself and others being denied access to the meeting and their response email stated "OLG agrees that members of the public (other that the person who had been expelled from the meeting) were entitled to attend the Council meeting after it was adjourned to the Committee Room". In the email it stated "The OLG also notes that when this oversight was identified it was subsequently corrected", I totally dispute this statement from the OLG, as I firmly believe the only reason I was allowed entry to the Committee Room was because I had informed those in the Committee Room that the attendee that had caused the issue had left the Gallery.
I was also in attendance at another Council Meeting on 28 November 2017 when a person who was apparently asked to apology due to an incident that I am not familiar with, was told he could not sit in the Gallery if he did not apologise, at the time I did not know this person identity, but I was of the view that he was entitled to sit in the Gallery and this I believe has now been confirmed.
Councillors you might be sitting there thinking to yourself "SO WHAT what is she getting at", "Councillors the facts are I have always maintained just because someone has a TITLE it doesn't mean they are always RIGHT and therefore they can be challenged, and Councillors remember you have been elected to represent us the voters of this shire, therefore statements and decisions that are made in Council meeting can be challenged by you the elected Councillor.
This is the first meeting I have attended since the incident on the 22nd May and I firmly believe that that myself and the other attendees were discriminated against on the day ,I therefore seek an apology from this Council and I would like an assurance that this occurrence will not happen again.